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Foothill Partners Inc. acquires “The Oddie District” redevelopment project (sponsored)


Joint venture with Belay Investment Group leads acquisition of 209,000 square foot future business and creator space

Foothill Partners Incorporated, the street-retail development company focused on centralizing commerce, culture and community, alongside The Innovation Collective, the culture-first community and economic development company, is establishing a new standard in placemaking. Foothill Partners acquired a vacant 209,000 square foot former Lowe’s Home Improvement in Sparks, Nevada through a partnership with Belay Investment Group. The empty big-box is being redeveloped into The Oddie District, a multipurpose innovation hub of work, live and creation spaces.

“With so much empty space to redevelop, The Oddie District brings a unique opportunity to create a multifaceted artistic and commercial center in the heart of Sparks,” said Douglas Wiele, founding partner and president of Foothill Partners. “Belay‘s outstanding reputation of cultivating emerging managers makes them the ideal partner to further develop our growing platform and continue to add value to the communities we serve.”

A rendering of the Oddie District.
A rendering of the Oddie District.

The Oddie District will house space for research, development and production uses, and will be home to a culture of artists and entrepreneurs. Construction for the District is scheduled to start late in 2021 with a planned opening date of its first phases in August 2022. 

“Redevelopment of The Oddie District brings Sparks to the forefront as an arts and business hub in the Western United States,” said Ed Lawson, mayor of the City of Sparks. “We cannot wait to see the potential of this space fully realized.”

Two notable organizations, The Generator and The Innovation Collective have already confirmed tenancy at The Oddie District. The Generator will occupy 35,000 sq. ft. of The Oddie District for artistic makerspace, and The Innovation Collective is turning 12,500 sq. ft. into collaborative office spaces for business acceleration and skills building for the tech industry. 

“The Generator is so excited to bring our non-profit maker space to The Oddie District,” said Jessi “Sprocket” Janusee, communications director of The Generator. “This marks a brand new era for our growing art community. We are especially looking forward to engaging with our neighbors in the Oddie area and to working with The City of Sparks to increase accessibility to art and maker culture for all. We are already dreaming up many vibrant community events to host in our art park.”

A rendering of the Oddie District.
A rendering of the Oddie District.

“We are a passionate group who are relentlessly helping humans all over the world unlock their potential,” said Nick Smoot, CEO of Innovation Collective. “We are looking forward to partnering with and engaging the Sparks community for local economic development like we’ve never seen.” This opportunity will connect Nevada with Innovation Collective’s other communities being built in Idaho, Florida, New York, and Texas. 

The remainder of The Oddie District will be developed into a variety of commercial spaces, with an emphasis on flex-tech space for engineering, software and design companies. Food and beverage shops will be on-site for both Oddie District tenants and the general public to enjoy, including a 8,000 square foot brewery and distillery complete with indoor-outdoor dining options. 

Foothill and Belay acquired The Oddie District as part of a joint venture partnership.  Barry Chase, Managing Principal and CEO of Belay said, “We are thrilled to be working with Foothill on the business plan execution of the Oddie District. Foothill’s creativity and wealth of retail experience coupled with their active civic engagement, has led them to a history of delivering projects that are sensitive to the local market needs, such as the intended mix of usage at the Oddie District.”

“To pull all this together in the shell of a vacant big-box retail building makes it all the better,” said Wiele. “We look forward to attracting the kinds of businesses that can help us build culture at The Oddie District.”

About Foothill Partners, Inc.

Founded in 1994 by Douglas Wiele, Foothill Partners, Inc. is a daily-needs street-retail / mixed-use commercial property developer / owner based in El Dorado Hills, California and operating in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Foothill acquires, develops and operates properties in partnership with private and institutional real estate equity funds. Foothill Partners’ purpose is the re-integration in our communities of the Center of Commerce, the Center of Culture and the Center of Community in One PlaceTM. Visit www.foothillpartners.com for more information. 

About Belay Investment Group

Belay Investment Group, LLC is a majority woman-owned Los Angeles-based investment management firm that pursues value-added investment opportunities, primarily middle-market infill properties in urban/suburban transit hub markets, on behalf of its institutional investors. Belay implements its investment strategies through long term partnerships established with high caliber, local operating partners and sector specialists. The firm has earned a reputation in the industry for supporting the growth and development of operators and emerging managers (including MWBE firms), beyond providing investment capital. Visit www.belayinvestmentgroup.com for more information.

About Innovation Collective

Innovation Collective is a minority owned national ecosystem development, real estate services, and venture investment firm. Over the last seven years it has developed a culture-first method of inclusive innovation economy development. These methods focus relentlessly on helping humans all over the world unlock their potential to transform lives, economies and communities. Human flourishing and abundant living are core principles to its work, research, and methods. Partners and clients include universities, community colleges, governor’s economic development offices, family foundations, venture capital funds, national laboratories, real estate developers, and publicly traded corporations. 

About The Generator

The Generator is an inclusive art space, maker space and community space in greater Reno/Sparks for anyone who wants to make things and be part of a creative community. We dream. We convene. We create. We make. We’re inspired by the magic and inspiration we see in all its enormity at Burning Man each summer, and we want to keep it alive all year. We combine forces and share resources in the name of creative growth and community involvement for all. Never been to Burning Man? No worries. Burner status is not required. We have industrial equipment and tools, a powerful network of creative minds, three phase power, and 35,000 square feet of workspace. We share our collective know-how and we hope to learn from yours. We’re here to encourage everyone to unlock their maker potential.

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Vacant Sparks big box store to become “work-live-make innovation hub”

Developers plan to invest $30 million in the former Lowe’s Home Improvement Center on Oddie Boulevard to create another multi-function “district” in the Truckee Meadows.